The16th of December 2012. Who could forget such a horrific day? The day when the capital of India, a great land of traditions and customs was raped brutally. The eight days of torture beginning from 10th Januray 2018 were probably the worst period ever for that tiny eight year old Kashmiri girl. A very few incidents like these succeed to come into limelight and bring tremendous outrages all over the country. But what about the rest still holding onto the endless struggles and trauma? It isn’t just about the vulnerable women but the entire country as a whole. Can we make the perfect stringiest rules and chain them down? Can we install the policemen and watch guards wherever and everywhere to secure the lives of the common? May be, we can but only as long as the evidences persist either for the judiciary to make a rule or a punishment accordingly or for the policemen to make any move in the setting.
Prevention is better than cure, as the old saying goes, it is always more beneficial and safer when we achieve the absence of the undesirable by prevention rather than by cure. In this scenario, sex education is the major help, widely accepted across the globe. Sex education is the method of educating a person about the basic anatomy of humans, human sexualities, the emotional and reproductive patterns of humans, associated variations and related disorders, diseases and other similar issues. It also emphasizes on the modes of transmission of HIV and the effective ways to control its prevalence. A vast majority of the entire population worldwide is either incompletely aware of the concepts discussed in sex education or completely unaware. In some cases, girls of even highly literate and reputated backgrounds couldn’t identify their menarche as something physiological and common to all. Sex education sheds light on the importance of menstrual hygiene, good nutrition and some physiological changes which are age and gender related. Sex education, beginning at least from the age of attainment of puberty helps in addressing such issues effectively and in empowering the young with a stronger foundation.
Sex education is practiced in rampant in many parts of the world. In some countries, it is a compulsory attribute. In India, the NCERT stepped forward to introduce sex education as a part of the regular curriculum followed in different schools and colleges all over the country. Quite a while from the introduction, the decision received mixed reviews and opinions. Some schools claimed that sex education was in fact arousing unhealthy curiosity and judgement among the children and that it is not applicable to be practiced in the country yet. In a nation like ours, where discussing about sex and related issues is a fact of social stigma and is considered a taboo, parents couldn’t step forward to address the doubts, the uncertainties and the apprehensions of their own children. Teachers claimed that the questions the children were posing seemed pretty obscure to answer. Some opposition political parties claimed that the introduction of sex education was done only for certain overwhelming political benefits and to sustain some friendly relations with the developed nations. The teachers, the parents and the political parties all together, even staged protests to opposing the decision of the government. Gradually, many states in the country have discontinued the method of sex education and have banned it in entire.
But on the other end of the spectrum, many schools and institutions welcomed this method with open arms. The NCERT was applauded for it’s fine move to enlighten the young minds about such less discussed but vital facts. Many non-governmental organizations and student bodies came forward in support of the move. Thence, sex education turned out to be a guiding light for the public in such places in the country, where it is accepted.
Sex education in India, in a perfect sense, needn’t be as loud as and as deep as it is in the highly developed western countries. India is a land of great traditions and customs. No matter what locality in India, a person is from, he is bound to the essence of the country in some or the other way and this in a way demands no urgency or necessity for deep grooved sex education in India. But due to the huge impact of social media, internet culture, pornography, indecent films and shows and so on alike on the young minds, day to day, the country already tastes the bitterness of the lack of proper sex education and knowledge with the growing incidents of sexual assaults on children and risk prone teenage pregnancies.
A fifteen year old boy, who is a constant film watcher and who has developed a liking towards his co-mate, a girl, due to the influence of some highly exaggerated obscene scenes in the film, might want to fulfill his sexual desires on the girl and may attempt to do so, nevertheless knowing or realizing how much appropriate it is for him. He might force the girl, threaten her, rape her or even murder her, brutally when the girl disagrees with him. He might also vent his rage and fury by misbehaving with the others around. If at all he succeeds in his attempts, he might end up in making her a pregnant, at such a tender age. Had the boy known, not all the things shown in films and shows are realistic, certain things are appropriate only for certain age groups and about the disadvantages of and punishments for committing a sexual offence, he probably would not have dared to take such extreme steps. Had the girl known some defense moves and smarter ways to escape from him, there would have been better chances for her to win over the boy.
Adolescents, because of the variations in their body hormones and behavioral patterns make the most vulnerable group for sexual assaults. But, day after day, we are coming across many incidents where age is no more standing as a bar for the offences. From a one year old kid to a seventy year old granny, everyone’s at a potential risk. The people belonging to the age groups in both the extremities are more helpless than the adolescents. Of course, sex education may not play a direct significant role here. But the caretakers of such people could be properly educated about the threats and be advised to stay as alert as and as concerned as possible for their own ones.
Sex education may not save the day all the time and in hundred percent but at least a major part of the sunshine is assured. In addition to the basic information, defence sports and martial arts like Karate, Taekwondo, Muay Thai should be made a part of the sex education programme. Sex education could be made more convincing and in line with the Indian traditions and culture and more specific and reliable to each age group accordingly so as to not invite any kinds of back drops or major criticisms. The parents should be motivated to start thinking broader with the swift changing scenarios and help their children be trained perfectly about sex education. The teachers are to be provided with perfect guidelines and instructions so as to convey the values effectively. Sex addicts should be identified and be taken proper care of, in special centres, in order to help them lead a normal and a well balanced life once again. Sex education should not be confined just to the schools or any institutions but should be made sensibly available and accessible for each and every person.
Education is the most powerful weapon one can use to change the world and so is sex education, very much.
Author : Shravya Thadi, participant of the International Essay Competition, August 2018